intro-stories-individual

Introduction

Mania Schwartzman

Young woman in 1940s era clothing
Photograph of large, leafy green tree.
Tree near house of Schwartzman Family, c. 2012, Courtesy Gideon Kouts.

Mania Schwartzman was born in Tuchyn in 1924. She had a younger sister Basia and three brothers David, Leib, and Lova. They lived with their parents Getzl and Rivka in a house in the “Zamd” (Sands).

The Zamd sat in an area of town with beautiful buildings, a garden of fruit trees, and the Horyn River. Mania’s family had a large tree that stood near the house along the path to the river. It still stands there today.

Photograph of man in 1930s clothes with a small moustache.
Getzl Schwartzman, c. 1930s, Tuchin Kripe: In Memory of the Jewish Community.

Mania’s father Getzl ran the town’s transportation company and garage. Getzl was a “soltis,” a leader in the town council and a respected member of the Jewish community. He later became the head of the Judenrat, Jewish Council, during the German occupation.

In 1939, when Mania was fifteen, war broke out and the Russians took over Tuchyn. The Russians added classes to the Jewish school drafted young Jews including Mania's brother Leib into the army. In the summer of 1941, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union and drove the Russians out of the area. Many Jews ultimately fought with the Russians against the Nazis during World War II.

In this exhibition, you will learn what happened under the Germans by hearing more about the Schwartzmans and other Jewish families in Tuchyn.